Galileo Goes to Jail and Other Myths about Science and Religion 1st Edition, Kindle Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 27 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0674033276
ISBN-10: 0674033272
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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Defining myth as just “a claim that is false,” editor Numbers and 24 other scholars debunk 25 falsehoods about science and religion. The most familiar—that the church imprisoned and tortured Galileo, that medieval Islam was hostile to science, that medieval Christians thought the earth was flat, that the church fought against anesthesia—have long been discredited, yet the briefs on them so admirably distill their history that Wikipedia should swipe them. Others—that the church suppressed science, prohibited dissection, and martyred Giordano Bruno for his scientific work—still have their propagandists. Some remain quite lively, such as that Christianity birthed modern science (see Rodney Stark’s For the Glory of God, 2003), that intelligent design challenges evolution scientifically, and that creationism is a strictly American phenomenon. Many are known primarily, perhaps, to specialists, and one or two may startle those who thought themselves in the know about such figures as Descartes and Newton. The pieces on all 25 have been written and edited for accessibility, making the book excellent for ready reference as well as recreational reading. --Ray Olson

Review

An illuminating study of the relationship between science and religion...This book features the contributions of a team of 25 scholars that includes agnostics, atheists, and Christians. Their collective objective is to dispel the "hoary myths" of the supposedly bellicose relationship between religion and science. Readers will be fascinated by the evidence that for advocating Copernicanism, Galileo was not imprisoned (as commonly thought) but interrogated--albeit under the threat of torture--and set up in an apartment. Other misconceptions concern the connection between Darwinian thought and Nazi biology, Einstein's belief in God, and Islam's alleged hostility toward scientific enquiry. (C. Brian Smith Library Journal 2009-03-02)

A revealing book...Using "myth" in the popular sense, to mean falsehood, Galileo Goes to Jail debunks widespread misconceptions. (Douglas Todd Vancouver Sun 2009-05-15)

A splendid book. (Christopher Howse Daily Telegraph 2009-06-06)

As a collection, these myth-busting arguments work to soften the wedge responsible for the schism between science and religion. The topics and writing style will appeal to all readers, but students of science and religion should consider this essential reading. (J. A. Hewlett Choice 2009-07-01)

Informative and thought-provoking reading. (Ernan McMullin The Tablet 2009-10-10)

The volume's careful organization and execution reveal the kind of planning and teamwork absent from too many edited collections, but which have come to be expected from Numbers...Each chapter of Galileo Goes to Jail begins with two or three epigraphs that clearly convict scholarly and popular literature of perpetuating the myth in question. Most authors then explore the nuances of the myth, its origin, complexity, and longevity, before telling the "rest of the story." (Mark A. Kalthoff First Things 2009-10-01)

The authors necessarily spend the bulk of their time debunking attacks on religion in the name of science, but they also clear the muddy waters left behind when pro-religion forces try to obscure the scientific record...As Numbers points out in his introduction, fewer than half of the contributors are religious believers at all; and of those, there are only two evangelicals, one Catholic, and one Jew. In other words, they have no axe to grind, and their only agenda is to set the historical record straight. Given all of the polemics published today, this is a breath of fresh air. (Ryan T. Anderson Weekly Standard 2009-10-19)

[Ronald L. Numbers] is a religious agnostic whose scholarship on the history of American religion and science is marked by meticulous accuracy and impartiality...[This book was written] with ordinary readers, not specialists, in mind, making this a truly rare book: where else can you find such authoritative scholarship delivered so accessibly and fairly on such an important subject? (Edward B. Davis belief.net 2009-08-28)

Product details

  • File Size: 2483 KB
  • Print Length: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press; 1 edition (March 31, 2009)
  • Publication Date: March 31, 2009
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B006SDJCOI
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #672,122 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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